West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has learned a tough lesson his state readies to welcome at least Rs25,000 crore in investments. CNBC-TV18 reports.
Resistance from opposition parties and lack of consensus amongst the CPI-M's allies wouldn't come in the way of Bengal's drive for industrialisation. That's what Bhattacharjee said in an exclusive interview to the TV18 Network.
And to overcome farmer resistance of the kind he encountered in Singur and Nandigram, the state government must work in tandem with the CPI-M… that's the lesson the chief minister has learnt from Singur.
Bhattacharjee says, "Of course the government and the party have to work together in one voice. The party is mobilising the local people and trying to persuade them and now 95 per cent of the people have voluntarily given consent. It's a unique thing; it's never happened in any part of the country."
Indeed, landowners of Singur have been compensated well; tenants too have got something. But what happens to agricultural workers? They have got nothing as yet. But the chief minister says they too need not despair.
"The major problem is with agricultural workers. Now we have engaged them in various construction activities like the construction of roads, fencing, and they will also be engaged in the construction of the factory. They will be engaged in the factories, if not the main factory, in the ancillary units," he said.
Bengal, according to Bhattacharjee, would receive at least Rs25,000 crore in investments this year. There are three steel plants and six Special Economic Zones in the pipeline.
But providing land for the proposed projects wouldn't be easy because 62 per cent of the state is under cultivation, and agriculture still accounts for nearly 26 per cent of Bengal's economy.